"Law School State and Local Tax"
School Finance: K-12 • Role of this unit in pulling together themes – State/local/federal roles – Legislatures/courts/executive – Funding/policy • What’s the problem(s)? – Inputs? ($, teachers, class-size, admin., etc.) – Outputs? (student performance, progress, gaps) – Inequality? (re districts, kids, groups of kids, needs?) • Legal frameworks – Federal equal protection – State constitutions: e/p, thorough & efficient? – Statutes (local budgets, state law, federal law)? Basics of School Finance • Sources of funds? – Local: primarily property tax (reflecting local tax base & effort) perhaps + some sales tax – State: income tax, sales tax, etc. distributed in various ways • Flat per unit (average daily class attendance) • “Equalization”: (Strayer Haig): minimum local tax effort, then state fills gap; but inequities if more local – Federal: categorical aid (Title I, impact aid) School Finance: Varying Costs? • Basics: Salaries, supplies • Infrastructure: facilities, equipment • BUT what about – Differing program requirements/expectations? – Student/teacher ratios? – Paraprofessional support? – Student needs that differ (e.g. special ed, poverty, language skills) • How do administrative mechanisms affect things? (school districts, schools, state/local roles) Statutory strategies: NC • Standard inputs: – Curriculum/course of study – Class sizes & student/teacher ratios – Salaries? • Standard outputs: Accountability (testing) – Testing outputs (end of grade & course) (tests developed by teachers and state school board) – Report cards for each school district (geared to improvement) – Rewards to personnel for reaching goals – Technical assistance if low performing – Retain kids who are low performing – State school board can intervene & dismiss/replace personnel NCLB: Federal Strategy • Accountability: – Performance: absolute standard – Adequate yearly progress toward “proficiency” (grade level) by 2013-14 – Focus on subgroups (all and by race, LEP, economic, disability) – Implications: if one subgroup falls below standard on one test category, entire school “needs improvement” – Not rewards but punitive (first re Title I schools) (parents have option to pull out, tutorials, more) • Highly qualified teachers & paraprofessionals